BERKELEY, Calif. - In the hills above the University of California's Berkeley campus, nine protesters gathered in front of the home of a toxicology professor, their faces covered with scarves and hoods despite the warm spring weather.
One scrawled "killer" in chalk on the scientist's doorstep, while another hurled insults through a bullhorn and announced, "Your neighbor kills animals!" Someone shattered a window.
Borrowing the kind of tactics used by anti-abortion demonstrators, animal rights activists are increasingly taking their rage straight to scientists' front doors.(Emphasis mine.) Please send any reports of anti-abortion activists invading the homes of abortion workers.
Over the past couple of years, more and more researchers who experiment on animals have been harassed and terrorized in their own homes, with weapons that include firebombs, flooding and acid.
Scientists say the vandalism and intimidation threaten not just themselves and their families but the future of medical research. Specialists in such fields as addiction, eyesight and the aging brain have been targeted.
"It used to be everyone was worried about their laboratories being broken into and their data being destroyed, their animals being taken away," said Jeffrey Kordower, head of the Society for Neuroscience's animal research committee. "What they've decided to do now is make things more personal."
Around the right side of the blogosphere, there have been several recent dust-ups on a topic I find mind-numbingly dull: evolution versus creationism and/or intelligent design. (Heck, I almost fell asleep typing that sentence.) In one corner are the atheists--militant and otherwise-- and in the other are the religious, mostly Christian.
The reason that I find the topic boring is because it's difficult, if not impossible, to see a resolution to it, one in which one side or the other will be proven unquestionably correct. The religious-creationists tell the atheist-evolutionists that they are going to Hell and the atheist-evolutionists tell the religious-creationists that they are anti-science. Personally I can't see how believing in evolution is going to effect a person's salvation one way or another and, conversely, many brilliant scientists are and have been observant Christians and Jews.
Both facts render meaningless most verbal exchanges about the topics-- but, strangely, not spittle-less.
The logical manifestation of fanaticism grounded in either belief, however, is full of meaning. And the existence of organizations such as the Animal Liberation Front--one which is both anti-religious and anti-science, which puts animals on the same spiritual level as humans and, due to that belief, would inflict terror upon scientists who save human life via animal experimentation--should cause ideologues on both sides to wonder whether they are wasting their time arguing with each other and misdirecting their vitriol. I say yes, they are.
Aside: I noticed that some UCLA professors' homes were vandalized. I'm guessing that none of them live near me, because if they did there'd be some hospitalized activists and not necessarily due to the injured parties. Especially after this sort of rhetoric:
Accompanying the attacks is increasingly tough talk from activists such as Dr. Jerry Vlasak, a spokesman for the Animal Liberation Front press office. In an interview with The Associated Press, he said he is not encouraging anyone to commit murder, but "if you had to hurt somebody or intimidate them or kill them, it would be morally justifiable."Right; that's the logical conclusion.
Keep your powder dry.
(Thanks to Hot Air)
UPDATE: I couldn't see stuff like this happening around my neighborhood or in states like Texas or Alabama.
"No, Officer, I don't know who these people are or what happened to them."
"Okay, ma'am. The EMTs will have your yard/hallway cleaned up in a bit. Have a nice day."